We all have people who drive us crazy. You wish you can have a better relationship, but you find it difficult to somehow connect. And often they bring out the worst in you, and it leaves you feeling bitter, angry, or resentful. When you’re feeling less than generous these days, you may to try this exercise to help turn things around. It only need three minutes to reap the benefits.
The process is a meditative exercise that Jillian Pransky, a favorite yoga teacher of Dr. Mehmet Oz, shows in the video above. Also known as “Loving-Kindness Meditation,” it is a practice that helps develop compassion for others and yourself. We encourage you to watch the video from the beginning, but in case you’re rolling your eyes already, the exercise starts at mark 4:45. Throughout the three minutes, Jillian asks you to visualize three people in your life: someone who loves and supports you, someone who has been difficult with you, and, finally, you. Each one gets a moment where you offer them the following wishes:
“May you be happy and at ease. May you be healthy and safe. May you feel loved.”
Notice how you feel. There is likely joy, gratitude, or delight when you say it to the one who cares for you. We expect it’s the opposite feeling when it comes to the person you don’t like very much. There is doubt, confusion, and a lot of hesitation when you imagine saying the words. Surprisingly, you can go through similar emotions when you extend yourself the same wishes. You expect to feel happiness when you start to say, “May I be happy and at ease...” But don’t be surprised if you don’t.
Jillian was floored to discover how difficult it was to wish herself love and happiness the first time she did it. “I had to pretend that a friend was offering them to me. [I had to] practice softening and receiving, to feel worthy to accept that level of love. I had to befriend myself.”
With daily practice and mindfulness, Jillian says you’ll see a subtle change in how you view someone who has always aggravated you. The technique serves to “soften” and help you be more kind, empathetic and compassionate, rather than critical towards others. Eventually, the people around you will react with positivity as well.
“Each of us has this capacity for a boundless heart,” Jillian points out. “And when we find it in ourselves, it’s not only good for our heart, our happiness. It’s also good for those whom we are in a relationship or come to contact with.”
This article originally appeared in FemaleNetwork.com. Minor edits have been made by SmartParenting.com.ph editors.